_U1B2334header

TSH Guide: Nicole Jorgenson

We met Nicole Jorgenson about a year ago when we stopped in at Bauerhaus bikes in Boise Idaho. We started talking bikes, trails, Idaho and then we started providing her kit for CX. We asked her to be a TSH Guide because whether it is racing her bike, ski patrolling at Sun Vallery or showing us cool places in Idaho – we thought you should all know about this awesome athlete. Later today we will post an essay she wrote about alpine skiing and adventuring. Later this summer we will be doing some epic touring in Idaho with Nicole. For now, an introduction!

TSH GUIDES 2017

TSH

Who is Nicole Jorgensen and what does she want to do?

NICOLE JORGENSON

I’m Nicole. I’m 24 years old and I currently live in Ketchum, ID. Thank you for asking what I want to do and not what I want to be! I have no idea what I want to be, in fact I don’t think I will be one thing, but many things. I know I want to visit unexplored places, cultivate pure and organic relationships, push my physical limits, and share the awe I have for our natural world and what it endlessly provides for us.

TSH

This winter you will be working Ski Patrol for Sun Valley. I imagine a Ski Patroller to be a first responder on a mountain but it must be more complex than this. Can you tell us a bit more about the job?

NICOLE JORGENSON

Yes, that’s exactly right. We are the first responders to any incident that happens on the mountain. We all have different levels of training (ie. Outdoor Emergency Care, EMT, Paramedic, Nurse) and it’s our responsibility to get hurt or sick patients off the mountain safely and to a higher level of care. Aside from our medical duties, we also keep the mountain safe by marking unsafe terrain, managing for avalanches and enforcing general mountain safety. I’m sure I will be learning more specifics this week!

TSH

What are you the most excited about the job?

NICOLE JORGENSON

There are actually a lot of aspects I’m excited about! I have been interested in the medical aspect for some time now. I got my Wilderness EMT last spring and am very eager to use my skills and help patients in need, especially with the added challenge of the elements on the mountain. I am also stoked about the snow safety work we’ll be doing (I think snow science is fascinating), and I can’t wait to work with the avalanche dogs on our team!

TSH

What do you think the most challenging aspect will be?

NICOLE JORGENSON

For me, I think the most challenging part will be taking care of myself. One of the first rules as a first responder is taking care of the rescuer first – obviously a rescuer is most helpful when they themselves are safe and healthy. Unfortunately, I get cold easily, so I’ll need to learn the balance of things like how long I can keep my gloves off while helping a patient before my hands freeze and become useless. I did some damage to my toes last winter by allowing myself to get frostnip multiple times, so now I have to be even more proactive to make sure I don’t get cold.

TSH

Comfort is key when you are in alpine conditions in winter but staying warm and dry is often a challenge. Any tips for the beginner in this area?

NICOLE JORGENSON

Yes, no cotton and layers!! Well, those are pretty obvious, but it’s really important to have well thought out layers that each serve their own purpose (base layer, mid layer, insulating layer, shell etc). The other key is managing your temperature before it’s too late. When you stop for a break, before you start to get cold, throw on a puffy, or when you start to heat up, take some time to shed some layers before you soak through them. Once you get too cold or too wet, it’s hard to backtrack and get back to a comfortable temperature.

TSH

Tell us about Idaho, It’s landscape? What you have seen and what do you want to see?

NICOLE JORGENSON

Idaho is a gorgeous, relatively undeveloped state with impressively jagged mountains and sagebrush-speckled high desert plains. I believe the people of Idaho pride themselves on the deep relationship they have with their land and are always finding new ways to become more intimate with it. I have been lucky to see much of Southwest and Central Idaho, from backpacking through Hells Canyon to backcountry skiing high in the Sawtooth Mountains. I have yet to venture north to see what kind of natural landscape the tip of the state has to offer. The Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness is an area that really draws me for its wild expanse, although the Sawtooths, I think, will continue to mesmerize me with their impressive peaks. I feel like I’ve only briefly touched some of Idaho’s rugged beauty.

TSH

The Owyhee Desert just south of Boise might be one of the most accessible places but I always have this feeling that I just scratch the surface when I go down there. Can you tell us a bit about this hidden gem of Idaho and where one might start?

NICOLE JORGENSON

The Owyhee Desert really is a hidden gem just outside of Boise. After passing through the working farmland of greater Boise, you’ll run into an expansive trail system with miles and miles of jeep roads and multi-use trails that meander through desolate burn areas, climb over blueish hills and descend between high canyon walls. Some of the area closely resembles something you’d see in Southern Utah, and much of it is uniquely Idahoan high desert. You’ll see horseback riders that appear as if they belong in a wild west movie, dirt bikers exploring on their motos and fellow mountain bikers. The best part is that everyone gets along and makes small talk as they pass each other on the trails. Its a raw and unifying experience.

TSH

When we look back through your Instagram I am awestruck by your adventures but being person who is a bit of afraid of heights let alone holding onto a rope on a ice wall I just have to ask you, Do you ever experience fear and if so how do you deal with it?

NICOLE JORGENSON

I definitely experience fear. In fact, I grew up with two brothers and I was always the cautious one nagging at them to be careful or to slow down. I wouldn’t consider myself a daredevil or a thrill seeker, but I do thoroughly enjoy pushing my physical limits. I do experience fear standing at the top of a steep couloir or traveling on high-angle terrain, but I also take pride in doing things methodically, being educated and learning from those who are more experienced than me. There’s a difference between fear that is rooted in Mother Nature’s grandiosity and fear that is provoked through reckless behavior. I think the fear that invigorates me is also intertwined with the feeling of knowing I came prepared, travelled safely and could trust my partners.

TSH

In many ways the adventure travel seems always to be about big epic trips and week long journeys but how important is it have a daily ritual of being outside and adventure?

NICOLE JORGENSON

Oh, I think it is equally as important to create a daily ritual of being outside and finding adventure in the quotidian aspects of life. Of course, the goal is to be on epic adventures as often as possible! But, we still have to work and its those quick, post-work, evening rides when the sagebrush of the lower foothills glistens below the setting sun or a quiet day touring nearby slopes on your day off that remind us to slow down and get outside. Finding small ways to connect with nature everyday is what keeps me energized and motivated to seek more!

TSH

Where should we go next on a adventure?!?!?!

Nicole Jorgenson

Ah the possibilities….